Divorce: Overcoming Obstacles
by: Amie Greenberg, JD, MBA and Barbara Greenberg, MD
Divorce brings with it many obstacles. Depending upon your circumstances, they may include: legal issues; changes in your living situation; financial difficulties;
modifications in your custody schedule; property division issues, emotional, separation or occupational issues.
It is very easy to get caught up in the vicious cycle of problems. When facing the obstacles presented by divorce, it is overwhelming and consuming. While you have to deal with the everyday decisions and changes concerning the divorce, the goal is to focus on your life and the way you want it to be in the future.
She looked different, confident and self-assured. Her entire life had changed. In reality, it had changed her and she grew with it. There was no more living in the past. He was standing there at a party - laughing, joking, and having fun. This woman thought back to that fateful day in a small quiet courtroom. They were deciding issues of custody and visitation over their children. It was November 11, 2008. He told the court she was a danger to her children and should be denied custody. Why was she described as a villain, when just months ago, she was a great mom who did everything for their children.
There was a blessing in what happened to her on November 11, 2008. On that day and the months that followed, her heart was broken. She lost her custody rights. While she made mistakes, they did not justify the loss of custody. It was now time to fight. She prepared for a custody battle, one that lasted for years - at a steep price to the entire family.
While it took her some time, with the help of family and friends, she was able to overcome the pain and anger and set goals toward her future. The woman chose family law where she could be an advocate for others and help parents avoid the pitfalls that can occur in a conflicted divorce. She volunteered at various low-cost centers and at the court-house and saw first-hand the devastation to parents and children, especially those who did not have the financial means of fighting a custody battle.
He looked up and said hello, not having recognized her. She was a shell of a person at the time of the custody battle, scared and unfamiliar with the world of divorce and its rules.“You don’t remember me, do you?” “It was November 11, 2008. Do you remember that date?” she asked.“No,” he replied, as if it was any other day.“I do,” she said. “I remember every detail of that day. That was the day you argued to the court that I was an unfit mother and they believed you. You told the court I was a danger to my children. They took away all my rights.” His mouth dropped. He became silent.
He was the divorce attorney who represented her ex-husband. “Don’t worry. I am not here to chastise you or to relive the past. This changed my life for the better. I didn’t know it at the time, but what happened to me that day redirected me to a better place. I now recognize the importance of the simple everyday times with my children. Without them in my life for that period of time, I was harshly reminded of how grateful and blessed I am to have them. I am now a family law attorney and an author of motivational books for parents and children entitled. “I Am Divorced … But I’m Still Me: A Child’s View of Divorce - Nick’s Story” “I Am Divorced … But I’m Still Me: A Child’s View of Divorce - Julianna’s Story” I simply hope you recognize how destructive your actions were to my children and my family. I was and still am a great mother. It took us a while to heal, but we did.” He was still silent.
No matter how difficult it is to juggle all your responsibilities related to your divorce, take at least a few minutes every day to imagine and picture your life the way you want it to be in the future.
Focus on creating what you want. Although it may be difficult, don’t focus on the obstacles in life.
The message in this article is about having inner strength. When sad or difficult events come into your life, it may be hard to realize at the time, but they won't last forever. What you do from that point on is what matters. You have to move forward and turn a tragic event into a positive one or you will live in the past, in pain and anger. Although it is hard to imagine, there is light at the end of the tunnel.